The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Authorities in Nevada may have just aborted another mass shooting with the arrest of an 18-year-old, self-professed militia leader who authorities say planned to “conduct mass killings” and “bragged about plans to shoot people on the Las Vegas strip.”
Steven Matthew Fernandes, who claimed to be a member of the Southern Nevada Militia, was arrested by FBI agents last month after three separate informants provided information about the teenager building and exploding bombs, amassing “an arsenal of weapons” and boasting of his killing prowess. ( continue to full post… )
Federal hate crime charges were filed today in Ohio against an Indiana man, Randolph Linn, who is a suspect in last weekend’s arson fire that heavily damaged the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.
Linn was charged with intentionally defacing, damaging and destroying religious property, and with using fire and explosives to commit a felony, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced. ( continue to full post… )
Muslims and their places of worship “are clearly under attack,” says the president of one of the country’s largest mosques, which was heavily damaged four days ago in an arson fire.
“We’re actually reeling in disbelief,” Dr. Mahjabeen Islam, president of the Islamic Center of Toledo in Ohio, told Hatewatch today in describing the devastation caused by a fire deliberately set in the mosque’s prayer area on Sunday afternoon, just minutes after worshippers had left the building.
“This is a hate crime and it’s very significant it was started in the center of the prayer area, right under the dome,” said Islam. The mosque she heads is the third largest in the United States, a 70,000-square foot landmark, visible for miles, with 3,000 members who will celebrate the center’s 32nd anniversary on Friday. ( continue to full post… )
The leader of an Amish splinter sect in Ohio and 15 of his followers were convicted of federal hate crimes today for forcibly shaving the beards and hair of breakaway members of the religious community.
Amish bishop Samuel Mullet, 66, faces a minimum of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced, likely late this year.
The case marks the first convictions in Ohio under the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act, enacted in 2009. ( continue to full post… )
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is convening an important hearing in Washington today to examine the threat of domestic extremism and hate crime in the wake of the horrific attack on Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin last month.
If the hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights does nothing else but put additional pressure on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take far-right extremism seriously, it will be worthwhile. ( continue to full post… )
We’ve seen news of the shooting of a security guard today at the Family Research Council office in Washington, D.C., and are getting media inquiries about it. There are unconfirmed reports that the shooting was ideologically motivated. We condemn all acts of violence and are following the story closely.
Wade Michael Page, the racist skinhead who killed six people last weekend at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin before turning the gun on himself, was a “patched” member of the Northern Hammerskins, a regional chapter of the larger Hammerskin Nation, the Southern Poverty Law Center has learned.
Page became a full, or patched, member of the Hammerskin chapter last October and appeared to be rising quickly in the organization, according to postings on Crew 38, the online forum for Hammerskin Nation (HSN). This year, in fact, his girlfriend, using the name “LuluRoman” on the forum, directed all regional inquiries regarding Northern Hammerskin events to Page. ( continue to full post… )
Police investigators in Lincoln, Neb., have not ruled out the possibility that a 33-year-old lesbian allegedly attacked last weekend because of her sexual orientation might have staged the hate crime. But they’re also not ready to call her story, which has ignited interest across the country, a complete fabrication.
Chief Jim Peschong told the Lincoln Journal Star that investigators, aided by the FBI, continue to search for suspects in the case but remain uncertain whether the attack even took place. ( continue to full post… )
Editor’s Note: Police subsequently said they had not ruled out the possibility that the attack was staged.
Last weekend, three men in masks stormed into a woman’s home in Nebraska, bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties, and carved anti-gay slurs into the woman’s body. The men also painted anti-gay slurs on the walls and poured gasoline on the floor to light the house on fire before fleeing, police said.
The fires went out, but firemen and paramedics rushing to the scene in Lincoln, last Sunday discovered the woman, who was a lesbian, across the street, bloody and dazed.
Three white supremacists involved in a racially motivated assault last year on a black man in Houston will serve federal prison sentences ranging from 30 to 77 months.
Brian Kerstetter, 32, was sentenced yesterday to 77 months, followed by three years of supervised release, by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt. Charles Cannon, 26, was sentenced to 37 months and Michael McLaughlin, 41, to 30 months. They each also must complete three years of supervision upon their release. ( continue to full post… )